Mayoral candidates blast Gardiner and Lakeshore construction

Stintz and Tory say that wouldn't happen on their watch

Road work began on Lakeshore Wednesday

Construction work got started on Lake Shore Blvd. Wednesday leading to rolling closures both east and westbound for paving improvements ahead of the Pan Am Games, but the real frustration for drivers and mayoral candidates is what else is happening at the same time.

Long-term construction is underway on the Gardiner and that has meant the loss of one lane in each direction on a long stretch of the expressway.

Mayoral candidates asked Thursday why this work wasn't planned better and have pledged to end these mix-ups if elected to city hall in October.

Karen Stintz has promised to create a transportation czar to oversee and co-ordinate anything and everything related to how you get around.

"With construction commencing on Lake Shore Boulevard...Toronto has proven once again that our transportation planning is in a state of disarray," Stintz said in a statement. "When we should have been planning ahead and making calculated decisions to address congestion, this administration has provided poor judgment by compounding gridlock on our roads."

Fellow mayoral candidate John Tory also said on his watch, construction projects on the Gardiner and Lakeshore would not happen at the same time.

"I have confirmed that the office running the smaller Lakeshore job did not communicate with the office running the bigger Gardiner job, which is simply unreal," Tory said in a statement released on Thursday.  "As mayor I will ensure this will never be repeated."

The city's GM of Transportation Services denies Tory's claim.

"We're fixing gridlock, we aren't compounding gridlock," said Doug Ford, who is Mayor Rob Ford's campaign manager.

Ford says his brother has been working with transportation staff to try and get construction done during off-peak hours during his time as Mayor. Ford also told Newstalk 1010 these things happen when you spend money to improve infrastruture.

"They (mayoral candidates) choose to play politics instead of (acknowledging) the reality of the situation. We only have a limited time up in Toronto here (to do work) due to the weather."

Olivia Chow was set to make a statement on the issue Thursday afternoon.

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  1. Frankie posted on 05/21/2014 04:11 PM
    Typical incompetence in Toronto. Fire the manager responsible for the left hand not talking to the right hand.
    1. HP posted on 05/21/2014 04:35 PM
      @Frankie This where Toronto would benefit from having a real mayor...a leader that would coordinate the city's operations, create an opportunity for teamwork, not just in repairing the roads, but ensuring our safety by getting the lead out of our water, reducing gridlock, and making the city work. We were once envied by the world as a clean, safe city where everything was done for the benefit of us residents. It was a city of trees, but our mayor cut the tree planting budget, so we're losing that as well.

      Perhaps it's time for the Fords to stop playing political games and using us as pawns for their personal gain.
    2. Wiseman posted on 05/21/2014 10:14 PM
      @HP Your an idiot, what does this have to do with the Fords'?
    3. Frankie posted on 05/22/2014 09:39 AM
      @HP If you want to blame a mayor why not Miller? He had over $ 50 million in the budget to fix the Gardiner and didn't spend one cent of that while in office. Had he and the councillors spent that money we wouldn't have the gridlock today.

      Mayor Ford has 1 vote. Yes, he's created a sideshow which isn't helpful however we also have childish moronic councillors that will vote against something beneficial just because Ford supports it. That's not Ford's fault.

      The bigger problem is having people in responsible positions with no accountability. Try incompetence like that in a private company and see how long you last.
  2. JohnH_6636 posted on 05/21/2014 04:24 PM
    Toronto like Hamilton has a series of grid like streets. Sadly some do not always connect. Keele and Leslie being some of the odd ones. Due to 401 incident yesterday avoiding highway was a chore in itself. To get to 1010 event tonight I chose to TTC day pass it in. Sadly Downsview was full, and after 8 point turns to turn back to get to Wilson, I entered wrong door, spilled my tea, walked around to right one, missed my train south, and saw five go north before next south one showed. I chose to go along Queen to Logan but was unaware of construction issues on Queen, so walked from Osgoode stop to King St. I asked that streetcar driver if he went to Logan, and he nodded. He then turned north up Broadview from Queen. While walking back I saw construction issues at GO train bridge. So my normal drive from hell into work would see me arrive 9:45am, this trip was 10:30am. I can just imagine how hard a car would be to get to Exhibition from Leslieville today. I'll take Pape bus to Bloor Danforth and take Dufferin bus south.
    As I intend to be doing this (transit) daily as of next month, this doesn't bode well. Having Downsview lot full by 9am was not ideal. As for Gardiner, unless they are structurally repairing elevated portions, leave the ground level parts alone. As Lake Shore is main alternative, they should never be done in tandem, but as Fords say, this is how city operates with limited weather window. Wasn't last winter 6 months?
  3. franklin posted on 05/21/2014 06:19 PM
    The city, without the mayor to stand up for the people, is going to H..ll in a handbasket, again, without any thought for the taxpayers.

    Norm, the "acting mayor" has fired up the Gravy Train, given 10% increases to the TTC and no doubt left all waste, such as ticket takers and billion-dollar garages in place. Have they brought back "jobs for life too?"

    Is it any wonder that they forgot the taxpayers in traffic by shutting down the Gardiner, without any work taking place, at the same time as shutting down the adjacent Lakeshore. Their attention must be entirely focused on perks and waste, and how to enable them.

    I hope the mayor takes until Labour Day if needed, although apparently he mut attend a JUly council meeting to maintain status, but then, I hope Mayor Ford comes back to take charge of city hall and stand up for Toronto and halt the Gravy Train once again.
  4. Walter posted on 05/21/2014 09:37 PM
    When Toronto planning "experts" were planning Transit City and the ECLRT and SRT/LRT, and then Ford changed to his continuous grade-separated Eglinton/SRT transit line - many politicians said we should listen to the experts.

    Now the "experts" are planning to do the work on parallel routes at the same time. Why are these same politicians coming to the defence of the "experts" who think doing the work at the same time is a good idea.
  5. Mike from the hinterland posted on 05/22/2014 07:15 AM
    The greater GTA, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Barrie, Oshawa, Ajax all need an integrated transportation plan! Sadly, there are too many agencies such as Metrolinx, GO, TTC, Grand River Transit, Hamilton's transit all involved.

    I believe the only way to make this mess accountable is to have what Chicago has created, namely the Greater Chicago Transit Authority. Eliminate the duplication and waste in all these organizations that I mentioned above.

    We are missing opportunities to buy common equipment and get the best price. Mike the golf pro Harris is to blame for the infrastructure mess! He downloaded the provincial highways to the municipalities! Now is it any wonder nothing can get done.
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